5 Steps to Releasing Content Consistently on Your Membership Site
The most common aspect of membership site management that owners struggle with, to the detriment of their site, is the ability to release content consistently. The process of the creating content varies from one membership site to the next depending upon the type of content they create and how it is delivered but that should have no impact on the ability to release content to members on a consistent basis. Similar to creating content the key to releasing content consistently is developing and implementing an effective, repeatable process.
1. Determine a Release Schedule
The first step to releasing content consistently is making it is priority. A simple way to do this is by setting up a release schedule. Depending on how mature the membership site is this schedule can vary a great deal. Creating a release schedule serves the same purpose as any other development schedule. It creates a trackable, manageable way to release content. It also provides visual motivation for making content a priority. Plus, a lot of people think they are releasing content consistently because it “feels” they are consistent. A release schedule provides a visual way to make sure content is actually released on a consistent basis.
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8 Steps to Creating Quality Content for Your Membership Site
Anyone can launch a profitable membership site in the short term but if they do deliver quality content that justifies the entry price then the site won’t be around for long. For online membership websites the core value provided is often content related. As a result, creating quality content should be one of the top priorities for any membership site owner. Fortunately, creating quality content on a consistent basis doesn’t have to be difficult as long as a proven, reliable system for content creation is in place.
1. Research Your Target Audience
The first step to creating quality content is learning about what your target audience really wants. There are three key variables to focus on: topic, media, and presentation. It doesn’t matter how great the content is if it isn’t a topic that your members are interested in. This makes topic selection critical. The second variable is media. It is often surprising for membership site owners which media offers the best way to communicate with their members. In the end, a combination of multiple media types is often the best choice. The final variable is presentation. While presentation is partially dictated by topic and media choices the overall tone and style of the presentation is equally important.
2. Decide What Type of Content to Create
While researching your target market is an ongoing process, you should be able to draw to baseline conclusions fairly quickly. From this information you must decide what type of content to create. Even if you have decided to test out multiple types of content, you need to develop a concrete strategy as when you will create each type.
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How to Create a Video Membership Site
Creating a video membership site is largely similar to any other type of membership site with one big exception – the complete reliance on video. Serving video content to members is a great way to increase the value and digestibility of content – especially if it is tutorials or how-to type content. The big hurdle membership site builders must overcome is how to modify their decision making process to place a larger emphasis on video.
1. Decide How to Host and Deliver Video Content
If there is one decision which will largely dictate every other decision it is how the video content with be stored and delivered to members. There are two fundamental options to choose from: relying on a 3rd party hosting solution and self-hosting videos. Each option has a unique set of benefits and limitations to consider.
A Brief Summary of 3rd Party Hosting
When most people think about hosted video solutions there are a few key options that come to mind. They are YouTube, Vimeo, and Screencast. YouTube offers excellent overall video quality, visibility, and speed. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to secure the content entirely because URLs can be shared. Vimeo features excellent functionality but can impact website speed because of the large amount of java script which must load. On the plus side, Vimeo makes it easy to rebrand the video play to match your membership site’s brand. Vimeo also makes it easy to protect and secure videos. Screencast is generally easy to use but suffers from many of the same drawbacks as relying on YouTube without the visibility benefits YouTube offers.
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Members Only WordPress Site
There are plenty of reasons you may be looking into how to create a members only WordPress site. It offers new streams of revenue, protects valuable content, and increases your perceived value and authority within a niche. Most people embrace the idea that they need a members-only WordPress website (or at least a members-only section). The primary barrier they face is actually getting a secure members-only website setup. Fortunately, creating a members-only website doesn’t have to be complicated.
1. Decide What Needs to Be Protected
The first step is deciding what content needs to be protected. Even if your entire website is going to be or members-only there will still be a few pages which are available to the public – such as the signup page. You may also decide to provide some content to the public in order to draw them in. This is often referred to as “teaser-content”.
Deciding how much of the content needs to be protected is only part of the equation. You must also decide what type of content will be protected. For example, you may want to protect a download so only members can access it. At the same time, you may want the rest of the download page viewable by the public so they decide to join your website. Determining what type of content is going to be protected can play a large role in deciding what the best way to create a members-only WordPress site will be for your situation.
2. Consider the Payment Options
The second step is deciding what type of payment options you will be making available. There are two separate issues to contend with. The first is the actual payment processors or payment gateways you will be using. This is important because some 3rd party payment processors could cause compatibility issues with the method you choose to protect your member’s area. Additionally, some payment processors function completely within your website whereas others will take customers to their website to ensure secure processing. Continue reading “How to a Create Members Only WordPress Site” »
3 Ways to Offer a Free Membership to Grow Your Business
There are a variety of different reasons you should be offering a free membership to your membership site in order to grow your business. This is true even if you don’t have a dedicated, separate membership site. Just adding a free member’s only area to your current website can provide benefits. In order to examine the different reasons you should offer a free membership to grow your business the easiest method is to look at the different ways to offer a free membership and how it will impact your business.
1. Free Trial/Special Promotion
The first way to offer a free membership to expand your business is to build it into a current paid membership website. This could be a small free trial or short-term special promotion. The purpose of providing a free trial to prospective members is it gives them the ability to see what you are truly offering. Some people choose to limit what members can access with a free trial while others do not. There are proven benefits to both. In general, you do not want to grant an all access free trial if you are not drip feeding content or constantly adding new content because free trial members will quickly notice that they are already getting access to everything they would as a paid member. The purpose of this is simply to expand your footprint, gain attention to your brand, and identify new target markets. Continue reading “Offer a Free Membership to Grow Your Business” »